When Pablo Mari picked up an ankle injury just a few minutes into our first game after lockdown, it was suggested he’d be back in action in September.
We’re now heading for the end of November and the Spaniard has yet to make an appearance, although he is now back in full training and progressing well according to Mikel Arteta.
There was a reported set-back some time ago, and the Arsenal boss expanded on what exactly happened to the 27 year old and why his return has taken so long.
“He’s looking really good in training,” said Arteta.
“Obviously he had a really difficult surgery, he had a screw [put in] and sometimes when you have an external body inside it can react in an unexpected way.
“It was causing some inflammation and some irritation in the joint all the time and his ankle was swelling, so we had to take that out.
“It was a bit of a setback but he’s been working really hard and looks really good in training.”
Having made only three appearances since his arrival from Flamengo, and with the high profile arrival of another left-footed centre half in Gabriel, doubts over his place have been emerged, but the manager insists he has a role to play.
“Yes, he does,” responded Arteta to a question about whether or not Mari still has a role to play.
“We’ve been hit really hard with some big injuries. Not just Pablo, but Cedric as well. He had two or three different incidents.
“Gabi Martinelli has been out for such a long time. Calum Chambers got injured three weeks after I arrived and still hasn’t played a game, and is still recovering.
“It is what it is. What I can say is that the approach of those players and how they’ve been trying to work to be back to their best has been phenomenal in all cases.
“Let’s hope that we can have them, we can use them, and they can feel part of what we’re doing.”